Alfred Hickman was an industrialist and politician from Tipton who was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham. His father was the owner of the Moat Colliery in Tipton and the family acquired of Springvale Furnace in 1866. Hickman was President of the British Iron Trades Council and President of Wolverhampton Chamber of Commerce.
In 1882 he formed the Staffordshire Steel Ingot & Iron Company Ltd to produce steel using the Bessemer process, was knighted in 1892 and in 1902 given the honorary freedom of the borough of Wolverhampton. In 1906 he became Chairman of the newly formed Tarmac Ltd, the company used large quantities of his waste slag. The Staffordshire Steel Ingot & Iron Company later became part of Stewarts & Lloyds.
He stood for the Conservatives in the 1880 general election and lost before winning in 1885. He was MP for Wolverhampton until 1906.
On his death in 1910, he bequeathed a park (Hickman Park) to the people of Bilston.